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Value Menu Items Are Bringing in Restaurant Traffic

McDonald's 2 for $4 mix & match deal
 McDonald's window

Value menus are driving traffic in a flat market, according to one researcher. Value menu traffic for total QSR increased by 10 percent and consumer spend by 13 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to a recent study by global information company The NPD Group.

The current value wars began in late 2017 when McDonald’s announced that they would launch a new value menu in January 2018. For McDonald’s, their primary business objective was to bring back customers that they had lost over the past few years when they moved away from value via their Value Menu. Other QSR chains, such as Taco Bell and Jack in the Box, introduced a value offering of their own to compete directly with that of McDonald’s, with the objective of retaining their customer base.

Wendy’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Arby’s and others joined in.

In addition to driving traffic and winning back or retaining customers, the idea of value menus was that once the customer ordered from the value menu, they would also purchase from the regular-priced menu. Looking at data from McDonald’s, Jack in the Box and Taco Bell, on average 72 percent of all three chains' customers who purchased from the value menu also purchased from the regular menu. The study analyzed actual receipts from consumers.

“A value proposition is definitely warranted to increase customer visits and drive frequency in today’s marketplace as the recent crop of value menus bears out,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “But It’s important to fully understand the impact and effectiveness of these promotions, whether it’s understanding value-seeking customer behavior or loyalty erosion.”

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email don@bluemaumau.org.